How to Remove Spray Paint From Wood? (4 DIY Methods)

Spray paint is applied at high speed and adheres to surfaces perfectly, especially porous surfaces. So, how to remove spray paint from wood?

To remove spray paint from wood, wipe it off with acetone or rubbing alcohol. Alcohol is a natural paint remover that penetrates and dissolves paint particles.

You can also use a paint stripper or thinner for this. Paint strippers contain active ingredients that soak and dissolve the paint, making it easier to scrape it off.

Don’t Damage The Wood

You can remove spray paint without damaging the wood. To do this, dissolve the paint using solvent-based products, such as acetone and rubbing alcohol.

Solvent-based products will dissolve the paint particles and soften the coating, making it easier to scrape it off. They are also wood-friendly and won’t damage it (as long as you don’t leave it for too long). To prevent wood damage, avoid using harsh chemicals. 

You can also prevent wood damage by sanding the paint off. Sanding involves wiping the surface with coarse-grit sandpaper until the paint is worn off. Sanding will also remove imperfections and smooth out the surface. 

Spray paint is hard to remove because it’s applied at high speed, penetrates, and sticks to the surface perfectly. Also, wood is a porous surface that allows deep penetration. The combination of these two things makes removing it hard.

How To Remove Spray Paint From Wood?

Stripping spray paint from wood is hard because wood is a porous surface and allows deep penetration. This means you must use a solvent or method that can penetrate deep and remove the entire paint coating. 

Here are a few DIY spray paint remover methods you can use:

1. Sand it Off

Remove Spray Paint From Wood By Sanding

Sanding involves gradually wiping the grit surface of the sandpaper over the surface until the paint is completely worn off. To do this, you must use medium or coarse-grit sandpaper. Avoid using fine-grit sandpaper (220-grit +) as it’s not coarse enough to remove a paint coating.

Here are the tools and supplies you’ll need for this task:

  • Sandpaper of different grits
  • Paper towels
  • Rags
  • A vacuum
  • A power sander

Here is how to do it:

  1. Wipe the surface with a clean rag to remove dust nibs and filth that can dull the sandpaper. 
  2. For large surfaces, use a power sander. 
  3. Sand the surface with medium or coarse-grit sandpaper (150-grit and downwards). 
  4. Inspect the wood every 5 minutes to see if the paint is off.
  5. Once the paint is removed, clean the wood with water to remove dust. 

2. Baking Soda and Boiling Water

Baking Soda and Boiling Water

Baking soda is naturally occurring alkaline powder that will remove paint and won’t damage a wooden surface. 

For this method, you’ll need these:

  • Baking soda or soda ash
  • A bowl of hot water
  • Rags
  • A waterproof bag
  • A turning stick

Here is how to do it:

  1. Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda in hot water.
  2. Stir the mixture thoroughly using a turning stick.
  3. Leave the mixture to settle for a few minutes.
  4. Damp a rag with the mixture, and use the dampened rag to wipe the surface repeatedly. 
  5. Wait 15 minutes. 
  6. After a while, baking soda will cause the spray paint to bubble.
  7. Wipe the bubbled paint with a clean rag or scrape it off. 
  8. Clean the surface with water and leave it to dry. 

3. Using Acetone

Using Acetone

Acetone is an alcohol-based solvent that will penetrate and dissolve the paint particles. Once the paint particles are dissolved, the spray paint will liquefy, and you can wipe it off easily. Alcohol is a natural spray paint remover, so you can use rubbing alcohol instead of acetone.

For this method, you’ll need these:

  • A bottle of acetone
  • Clean rags
  • A paint scraper
  • A waterproof bag

Here is how to do it:

  1. Clean the painted surface to remove dust and dirt.
  2. Pour acetone into a bowl and dip a rag into it. 
  3. Use the dampened rag to wipe the painted surface repeatedly.
  4. Wait 15 minutes.
  5. Wipe the surface off with a rag or scrape it.
  6. For leftover paint, re-apply acetone and re-do the steps.
  7. Remove the acetone residue from the wood using a clean rag.
  8. Allow the surface to dry. 

4. Use a Paint Stripper

Use a Paint Stripper

Paint strippers are chemical-based products formulated with paint-removing additives. The paint-removing additives penetrate and dissolve the spray paint, causing it to lose adhesion and come off.

For this method, you’ll need these:

  • A paint stripper
  • A putty knife
  • Paintbrushes
  • Rags
  • A waterproof bag or paint container
  • Mineral spirits

Here is how to do it:

  1. Apply the paint stripper compound over the painted surface.
  2. Press the compound until the surface using a paint scraper and wait 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, scrape the compound with the spray paint together. 
  4. Wipe the wood with mineral spirits to neutralize it.
  5. Leave the surface to dry. 

Other methods you can use:

  • Pressure Washer – You can use a pressure washer to remove spray paint, but it’s not recommended. That’s because pressure washers use a lot of water, which can be bad for a porous surface such as wood. However, use pressure settings between 1500-3000 PSI if you want to do it.
  • Paint thinner – for removing dried spray paint.
  • Sandblasting – for large surfaces.
  • Scrape the paint off – for small stains. 
  • Soap and water – it works for fresh stains.
  • Nail Polish Remover – Only if it contains acetone. 
  • Vinegar.

Final Words

In summary, you can remove spray paint from wood using a solvent-based product or sand it off. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before using the products. For multiple coats of spray paint, use a chemical-based product such as a paint stripper compound to remove it.

Tony Adams
Tony Adams

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about,

Leave a Comment